Building a key resource for understanding, treating, and finding a cure for MS.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Brain Bank (NMSBB) is a collaboration between investigators at Columbia University, National Institute of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS), and the Yale School of Medicine, funded generously by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Established in 2020, the NMSBB is poised to become an invaluable resource for investigators to access human post-mortem brain, spinal cord, and related tissues to aid in their research.
COMPONENTS OF THE BRAIN BANK
Understanding MS from the bedside to the laboratory.
Raising awareness about the importance of brain donation for research in MS and other neurologic diseases.
Scientists depend on frozen and fixed tissue to unlock the mysteries of the brain and other tissues of the central nervous system, but very few people choose to donate their tissues after death. We seek to educate the MS community and general public about the tremendous value in this anatomical gift. Seminars are available in person or by video for interested groups.
UNDERSTANDING THE COURSE OF MS
Individuals living with multiple sclerosis who wish to donate their brain and related tissues to the brain bank after death are invited to enroll in a prospective study. They will be contacted intermittently to learn about the course of their disease and symptoms related to MS as well as their course of treatment, and invited to share MRI data and visit the Columbia MS Center occasionally for an in person visit if possible.
BRAIN AND TISSUE DONATION
When death occurs
When death is near, the next of kin contact our coordinator team, who confirms consent and arranges for removal of the brain and tissues locally, and shipping to the home site. After death, the tissue removal is performed and the remains returned promptly to the funeral home and family for memorial or religious services; there is no disfigurement.
IMAGING THE TISSUE SAMPLE
High resolution magnetic resonance imaging
Detailed high resolution post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging identifies the location of lesions including those that are difficulty to detect during dissection. These can be targeted for further investigation and staining.
STAINING TISSUE SAMPLES
Histological assessment of MS Lesions
Guided by neuroimaging, lesions are identified and stained optimally for use by requesting researchers. Additional diagnoses are identified and released to the donor's next of kin.
Generating an inexhaustible resource
Coming Soon: Reference data from tissue samples will be generated and made available, using secure and state of the art data management systems, through the Columbia Center for Translational and Computational Neuroimmunology (CTCN).
SHARE YOUR STORY
Celebrating the lives of those who contribute to the NMSBB
Every person who pledges to donate his tissue to the NMSBB is welcome to share a reflection on this decision and hopes for the future of this project. Families of donors are also welcome to share memories and stories here.
"Pandemic Mona" by Ingrid Barthelemy
The NMSBB is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our goal is to create a tissue bank that accurately reflects the tremendous heterogeneity of people impacted by MS.
All donors are welcome.